What is unconditional acceptance

Accept the other unconditionally and not try to change them

Last update: February 21, 2017

Surely you have had the feeling from time to time that your worth as a person depends on whether you meet certain expectations. This is accompanied by an unpleasant feeling, which you might suppress rationally, but which cannot be avoided subconsciously. A person who asks something of us aims to make us feel that way, knowing that it is a way of making us submissive. As soon as conditions are set for acceptance, a person is no longer accepted unconditionally.

“If you do what I ask of you, you are a good child”, “If you choose this course, I will be proud of you”, “Don't make me sad because you want something other than what I tell you ", or, "You have to be the joker among our friends so that we can enjoy being with you." But accepting someone unconditionally means loving someone for who they are, with their way of being and seeing the world, without wanting to change them according to your own ideas.

That is not to say that we should not be honest with someone or tell them what we dislike. It's one thing to be honest and another to manipulate someone emotionally for your own benefit.

Living by the ideas of others removes us from unconditional acceptance

At first glance, these sentences seem harmless, do not seem to have much impact on our everyday life. But If we think about it, what would happen if we blindly complied with each and every one of these demands? We would become a person that others shape. We would literally sell ourselves to our parents, friends, our partner, etc. Inevitably, in one way or another, all would ask us to be what they want us to be.

Of course It is up to us whether we want to meet the expectations of others without thinking twice. We can set boundaries in a healthy and decisive way: “I won't be what you want me to be, but I still want to be friends with you. If you accept me for who I am, I'll be happy about it, if not, I'll have to continue on my way without you. " To rebel against the demands of others with such sentences seems very easy, but it takes a lot of courage from us, we have to assert ourselves and show that to our counterparts.

Accept unconditionally: an act of charity

Starting a relationship with a person from scratch and on the basis of unconditional acceptance is an act of charity. Getting stuck in a relationship whose longevity is holding back whether expectations are met or not is debilitating and frustrating. Of course, we're not talking about unconditionally accepting behaviors that are harmful to our emotional and physical health. Respect is one of the cornerstones of any relationship.

If you are a very sensitive person and have a friend who thinks more rationally, there may be moments when you feel that he does not understand you or does not put himself in your shoes and that frustrates you inevitably more and more, because this person is just like that. That might change over time, but that doesn't depend on you.

In these cases it is best to accept that our friend is different from ourselves and that he often cannot give us what we need, but he can give us other things that are important for this friendship. Even if you don't always feel understood by him, he may be one of those few people you can always count on.

“Lord, give me the strength to accept what I cannot change; the courage to change what I can change; and the wisdom to recognize both circumstances. "

Francis of Assisi

To unconditionally accept and love a loved one means to love their being without wanting to change anything. It means seeing with love what we appreciate about him. Unconditionally accepting a person does not mean forcing us to love their particularities, for we have the right not to like certain traits of a person. But we can respect and understand them as part of the whole, of the human being.

Unconditional acceptance starts with ourselves

"The paradox is that I can change as soon as I accept myself for who I am."

Carl Rogers

This act of unconditionally accepting someone should begin with ourselves. Maybe you are a very demanding, perfectionist person and expect others to be the way you want them to be. Accepting yourself as you are does not mean wanting to change yourself from the ground up, nor see yourself as something already perfect that can only get better. Accepting yourself means respecting yourself, loving yourself and not punishing yourself for not being like a general idea of ​​something that we impose on ourselves or allow ourselves to be:

When I am in harmony with myself, with my strengths and weaknesses, with my rough edges and with all my colors, when I manage to love and respect all of this wealth of experience, my feelings, emotions, thoughts and actions I definitely live healthier mentally and my attitude will always be valuable.

When I accept myself and love who I am - and not only when I meet other people's expectations - then I can also see others from this perspective and accept them for what they are. As soon as I accept my fellow human beings unconditionally, they will feel more understood and less compelled to be a different person. Properties that do not suit me will not prevent me from seeing people as a whole.

I can open my eyes wide and see everything that makes a person, if I want!